Yes! This summer in the spirit of commemoration of the people who took to the streets to protest their lot, Littleport Community School pupils re-enacted this important part of their village’s history.
Along with other groups, the children in period costume set off from the site of former pub, The Globe. Dozens of angry residents had gathered there for the monthly benevolent club meeting to discuss the hardship being caused by the astronomically rising prices of grain and the prevalent dire poverty that meant people couldn’t afford to buy any bread to eat, their staple diet. Despair turned to anger and they spilled out onto the street and went on the rampage, eventually marching to Ely.
The groups – led by trustees of the Adams’ Heritage Centre, Grenville Goodson and councillor Debra Jordan, punched the air and chanted ‘bread blood’ as they were guided through town and shown where many of the rioters lived and worked.
The youngsters were also shown an exhibition inside the Heritage Centre organised by the Field Theatre Group, which detailed the events before, during and after the riots, including the subsequent trials, and terrible sentences meted out and the hanging of William Beamiss, George Crow, John Dennis, Isaac Harley and Thomas South.
Cllr Jordan says that the history of the riots is an important part of Littleport life. She said: “The events we’ve had here have been brilliant; we’ve had descendants of some of the rioters come along, even one from New Zealand. It’s taken months of research into the court trials and it took about a week to put the exhibition together.”